Super Bowl Chunky Chili

Many years ago, when my husband, Jack, and I were first dating, he invited me to a Super Bowl party he was hosting. Now, you would think this strong, healthy, handsome, athletic (he played college football), guy would have had the barbeque fired up to grill burgers or steaks or a side of buffalo. I was certainly surprised when I walked in to smell the aroma of a “very fragrant” tomato sauce! The man was making spaghetti! I thought that perhaps he was trying to impress me (he did, the sauce was delicious) but, according to his friends, that’s what he made every Super Bowl and they wouldn’t change a thing about the meal (which included salad and garlic bread). The guys brought pre-game snacks and beer and the wives/girlfriends made desserts to ensure that no matter who’s team won the title, there would be a sweet ending to the night!

I don’t remember when (or why) the change occurred but, after we were married, I was in charge of the food … and I made this chili every Super Bowl for years! My favorite part of this party was watching the “boys” move the players on the huge “football field” sheet cake I made (complete with yard lines, goalposts, players, football and of course, cheerleaders!


  • 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil, for sautéing
  • 1 1/2 Cups yellow onion, chopped (1-inch pieces)
  • 1 Cup green bell pepper, chopped (1-inch pieces)
  • 1/2 Cup red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Pound ground turkey or ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (16-ounce) can pinto beans, undrained
  • 1 (16-ounce) can kidney beans, undrained
  • 1 Cup frozen whole kernel corn
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Using a large pot, sauté the onion and bell peppers in the oil until tender. (The amount of oil used depends on how lean or fatty the protein is that you’ll be adding). Add the garlic, cook for a minute or two. Add the meat to the pan, season with salt and pepper. Cook until browned.
  2. Using a small bowl, mix together the chili powder, cumin and red pepper flakes (if using). When the meat is done, sprinkle the seasoning over the meat and vegetables. Stir to combine.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes, pinto and kidney beans and the corn. Give a good stir to mix everything together. Bring to a boil, immediately reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Chili is great as is, however, you may wish to set out optional garnishes, such as sour cream, cheddar cheese, avocado, chopped cilantro etc. I also served warmed corn and flour tortillas as well as cornbread.







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